Kat Bryant | Grays Harbor News Group
                                Kelly Durham, left, and JR Lakey, partners in the Garage: Music and Arts Center, are planning an entire month of music-related events around Aberdeen and Hoquiam.

Kat Bryant | Grays Harbor News Group Kelly Durham, left, and JR Lakey, partners in the Garage: Music and Arts Center, are planning an entire month of music-related events around Aberdeen and Hoquiam.

October Music Festival will include events all over Aberdeen, Hoquiam

  • Sat Sep 28th, 2019 11:38am
  • Life

By Kat Bryant

Grays Harbor News Group

The folks behind the Garage: Music and Arts Center are about to launch the third annual October Music Festival, a monthlong schedule of music-related events all over Aberdeen and Hoquiam.

The kickoff party is Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the Garage, which is located in the Shoppes at Riverside in Aberdeen.

Kelly Durham, chief operating officer of the umbrella nonprofit Grays Harbor Arts, is taking a leave of absence from her paying job at Lucky Eagle Casino to referee the massive schedule, which has grown exponentially this year.

“Kelly is really the driving force behind all of this,” said CEO JR Lakey. “It’s her baby.”

In April 2017, when the nonprofit was being organized, “we were talking about ways to rebuild the music scene and get the community involved and get the businesses involved,” said Durham. “I was looking online one day and saw that Oct. 1 is International Music Day. And I thought: Wouldn’t it be cool is somebody did a monthlong festival to celebrate music?”

For the first festival that year, they were able to book just a couple of locations in Aberdeen, she said. And last year, nearly everything was staged at the Garage.

Durham said music licensing fees have put off some venues in the past, but Grays Harbor Arts has blanket coverage with ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. This allows the nonprofit’s events to incorporate copyrighted music, no matter where they’re held.

“This year, it’s been nice to see the community finally backing us and getting involved,” she said. “We’re all over the place now!” At this writing, 13 different locations in Aberdeen and Hoquiam were on the schedule.

“I’d say about half of the events we’re doing this year are all-ages events,” she said, “and almost every single one is free.”

Durham and Lakey are setting up a YouTube channel this week featuring all of the participating musicians. There’s also a section on the festival website where visitors can click to hear individual performers’ music.

“This way, people who are looking up the festival can actually click on links to see what the performers sound like, and decide if they want to go see them.”

Tuesday’s kickoff party at the Garage will be a public meet-and-greet with participating local musicians.

“We’ll be playing music from the YouTube channel over the PA, and we’ll have snacks, and it’ll be for all ages,” said Durham. “Everyone can just hang out and listen to music, and even jam if they want to.”

She and Lakey are both very enthusiastic about the wide variety of items on the calendar. In addition to numerous performances, there will be an assortment of workshops and informational sessions geared toward those in the industry.

“I’m excited about having some outside organizations come in and share their knowledge with musicians and businesses that just don’t have access to a lot of that information, or haven’t had that information presented in a way that makes sense,” said Lakey. “We’re hoping both the musicians and the venues will gain from it.”

A couple of fundraising concerts are sprinkled in there, too.

The 7th Street Theatre will host one to benefit Grays Harbor Arts on Oct. 19 starting at 1 p.m. This nine-hour music marathon will feature Wanz (of Macklemore), Of Lioness, Lauren Napier, Lisa Ramsauer, the Bold Doherty, Just Us, Bobby Williams, the Riverside Garage Band and more. Advance tickets are available for $20 ($10 for those 12 and younger) at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4371247.

Another benefit will be held at the Garage on Oct. 26 for Out of the Darkness, a suicide awareness nonprofit. Forget Me Not will play from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5.

“We had a friend in the music scene take his life last month, so we wanted to do something to give back to the community,” said Durham. “So we decided to partner with Out of the Darkness for this.”

Unlike past years, most of the musicians are being paid by the various venues where they’re playing, so there’s not a lot of expense involved for the nonprofit — except for marketing and promotion. Durham has secured reimbursement grants from Aberdeen LTAC ($8,000) and Grays Harbor Tourism ($5,000) this year, which is helping her market the festival far beyond Grays Harbor. For example, she’s got ads playing on Pandora Radio across a 500-mile radius (which includes metro Seattle and Portland).

Plus, “I’m personally driving around, putting out yard signs and rack cards as far away as Olympia,” she laughed. “It’s been kind of chaotic!”

Only a few days of October were still unscheduled at press time, but Durham is still hoping to fill those gaps. And next year, she’d like to expand this festival to the beaches.

“This is why we’re changing our name from 98520 Music and Arts District Initiative to Grays Harbor Arts,” she said. “We want to serve the entire Harbor.”

For event details, changes and updates, check OctoberMusicFestival.com.

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SCHEDULE

Information current as of Sept. 25; subject to change. For event details, changes and updates, check OctoberMusicFestival.com before you go.

1 Tuesday

Kickoff Party, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Garage: Music and Arts Center. Free.

2 Wednesday

Sing-along with Make-Believe Steve, 3 to 4 p.m. at the Hoquiam Timberland Library. Free; all ages.

3 Thursday

All Ages Open Mic & Jam Session, 6 to 9 p.m. at the Garage. Free; all ages and abilities.

4 Friday

Ken & Donna Albert, 5 p.m. at the Aberdeen Art Center for First Friday Art Walk. Free; all ages.

5 Saturday

JR Lakey, 4 p.m. at Renegade Red Studio & Gallery’s farewell party. Free.

6 Sunday

Basic Guitar & Bass Maintenance Workshop, 3 to 5 p.m. at the Garage. Free.

7 Monday

Black Shepherd, 7 to 9 p.m. at John’s River Lodge. Free; 21+.

8 Tuesday

Band Photography Workshop with Rick Moyer, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Garage. Free.

9 Wednesday

Live Sound Workshop, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Garage. Free; donations accepted.

10 Thursday

All Ages Open Mic & Jam Session, 6 to 9 p.m. at the Garage. Free; all ages.

11 Friday

Fat Chance, 7 to 9 p.m. at the New Parkway Tavern. Free; 21+.

12 Saturday

All Day Party, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Place to Be. Free; 21+.

15 Tuesday

Tminus5, 7 to 9 p.m. at John’s River Lodge. Free; 21+.

16 Wednesday

American Federation of Musicians seminar, 4 to 5 p.m. at the Garage. Free.

Rebel Skum, 7 to 9 p.m. at John’s River Lodge. Free; 21+.

17 Thursday

All Ages Open Mic & Jam Session, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Garage. Free; all ages.

18 Friday

Oktoberfest at the Shoppes at Riverside. Free; all ages.

19 Saturday

Grays Harbor Arts benefit concert, 1 to 10 p.m. at 7th Street Theatre. $20; $10 for 12 and under.

20 Sunday

Pedal Workshop, 3 to 5 p.m. at the Garage. Free.

22 Tuesday

Band Photography Workshop with Rick Moyer, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Garage. Free.

23 Wednesday

Special “Brinner” event, 6 p.m. at Brunch 101.

24 Thursday

Jon Reynolds & Geoffrey Hirschfeld, 7 to 9 p.m. at Steam Donkey. Free; all ages.

25 Friday

Stoney Hawk & Ty Wulf, 7 to 9 p.m. at Mt. Olympus Brewing Co. Free; all ages.

26 Saturday

Christine Hill & Ken Albert, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tinderbox Coffee Roasters. Free; all ages.

Out of the Darkness Benefit Concert: Forget Me Not, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Garage. $5.

27 Sunday

Just Us & Lisa Ramsauer, 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Westport Winery. All ages.

30 Wednesday

Bridge Music Project opens 8-week Song-Writing Workshop, 5 to 7 p.m. at the Garage. Free; ages 14-21.

31 Thursday

Little Mall of Horrors, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Garage. Free; all ages.